Home / English homepage - Lapland UAS / Applicants / Students' blog

First-year sport business students' academic year culminated in a sports event at Ounashalli


Students of the International Sport Business Management programme and exchange student from France, organized a sport event for children on 25th April 2024 in Ounashalli. The event was held as part of the Global Sport Environments course, in collaboration with teacher Anzelika Krastina and the elementary school of Ounasrinne.

Joyful laughter echoes throughout Ounashalli as the primary school students of Ounasrinne play American football and more familiar “European” version of the football together with Lapland University of Applied Sciences students. The children of Ounasrinne School also had the opportunity to see what kind of equipment is used in American football.

"Good catch," you hear from a Lapland UAS student, when a primary school-aged child grabs hold of the American football. A smile spreads across the child's face. Time has flown quickly at Ounashalli as our sport event is coming to an end. Children have had the chance to try American football and the more familiar soccer. Finally, we got to play the legendary dodgeball with the kids as well. The children are happy, with healthy redness on their faces. That's why we wanted to organize the event specifically for children. (Text continues after the pictures) 

The group picture of the organisersSports equipment on the lawn

From the beginning, we, the students had a clear vision of the type of sports event we wanted to organize. We stuck to our original plan and aimed to host a fun sport event especially for primary school-aged children. We presented two ways of playing football. American football was surely entirely new to many, while soccer that we played on the other side of the field was more familiar. We wanted to give the children the opportunity to explore new and somewhat familiar sports through play and games. Ending with a game of dodgeball was a fun way to finish the day, as we got all the students from Ounasrinne school to join.

In addition to sports, the children had the opportunity to hear English, and, if they were brave enough, to speak it as well. We also considered this aspect particularly important, as we are an international program and aim to encourage children and young people to hear English in a school environment. It was nice to hear the children speaking English and understanding the instructions in both languages.

This was also the first event altogether that we organized as a class, and it was a great opportunity for all of us who participated in the course to learn more about organizing sports events. The event was planned, brainstormed, and ideated together, which made it meaningful also for all the students participating in the course. In addition to sports, we wanted to emphasize our internationality, so it was nice to have an exchange student involved in organizing the event.

A big thank you goes to Ounasrinne school and the children who made the event possible. We would also like to say big thank you to the students who were involved in organizing the event alongside teacher Anzelika Krastina. The event was great learning experience, but above all, a great way to end this academic year with almost our entire class participating.

Written by Vili Varjus, International Sport Business Management student
Photo credit: Vili Varjus

Learn and go international! – experiences from Portugal and plans for Norway


By: Malla Alatalo, M.A, specialist, Responsibility in Business and Services; Aulikki Laitinen-Tolonen M.Soc.Sc., Senior Lecturer, Responsibility in Business and Services & Britlise van den Bosch, student, intern, Lapland UAS

rewo logot.jpg

Our project "From Research to Working Life" is gearing up for another international exchange for our students. In this blog post we take a moment to reminisce about the trip we undertook last fall to Estoril, Portugal. As we wrap up our reflections on Portugal, we're excited to unveil the next steps of our project: an intensive learning and cooperation period in Stavanger, Norway, in September, where we invite students to join.

This blog post is a reflection on the Learning, Teaching, Training (LTT) trip to Portugal in November 2023 in relation to the From Research to Working Life project (ReWo). This post sheds light on the experience, especially from the students’ perspective, and will hopefully inspire students to participate in international projects in the future - perhaps with ReWo project in September.

ReWo is an Erasmus+ funded project with the aim of creating permanent methods and practices for developing education and research structures, within higher education institutes. To enhance the cooperation between education institutes and international working life. The Partners in this project are the University of Maribor, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, the University of Stavanger, and the Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies.


The LTT trip was related to Work Package 3 of the project, with a focus on creating visual outputs that makes data from research more approachable and applicable to the industry. The main objective being: “to encourage students to explore the visual as a way of distributing research results.”. The LTT, named “Seeing is Believing” brought together tourism students from all the partner countries and their teachers or coaches in Estoril, Portugal hosted by the Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies (ESTHE).

Day 1

6th of November 2023

On the first day one of the teachers of ESTHE, the local organizer of the LTT, picked the group from the hotel where all the other institutes were staying. This is when the whole group first got introduced with the other teachers and coaches as well as students from the institutes.

After arriving to ESTHE, the group got introduced to one of the practical classes taught at ESTHE, namely, a cooking class. This offered an opportunity to get to know the other participants of the LTT in a fun and engaging manner, as well as to gain understanding in some of the curriculum offered to the hotel and tourism students at ESTHE.

The cooking was guided by two chefs who showed how to prepare traditional Portuguese dishes, examples being cod cakes and punched potatoes. The participants got to make their own hands dirty as they all volunteered partaking in different cooking tasks. Afterwards eating what they had prepared, offering a further opportunity to socialize.

Following the practical class, the students got some free time to get to know each other better. While the teachers and coaches proceeded to have a meeting together on this work package and some other practicalities of the project, such as the “Seeing is Believing” webinar.

As the meeting ended, the students joined the teachers and the coaches. The group met with other ESTHE staff, and the group got a guided tour around in school premises. The group then entered a meeting space for an institutional welcoming by the president of ESTHE. This marked the end of the day for the students, who got to enjoy their free time in Estoril for the rest of the afternoon, while the teachers and coaches continued discussing some more practical matters.

Pic 1 blogi.jpg
Picture 1. Group photo taken at a deck in ESTHE campus.

Day 2

7th of November 2023

On the second day another practical class of ESTHE was introduced. On this day the LTT group followed a tour guiding class south of Lisbon. Throughout the trip students from ESTHE gave presentations of different aspects of the day. We got guided through different viewpoints as well as historical sights.

Lunch break took place in the city of Setubal, where the group got to try the famous cuttlefish. In the afternoon the group partook in a winery tour hosted by one of the alumni of ESTHE.

Throughout the day, as a visualization assignment, students, teachers and coaches took photos for the purpose of the project. The aim of the photos was capturing a reflection of the day trip, as well as the LTT in general.

This field trip offered a way for the LTT participants to get to know history and culture of Portugal, as well as the general surrounding area of Lisbon. Further, it offered the students of ESTHE to have a practical exam with actual tourists. Additionally, the photo assignment contributes directly to the project, as it can be reviewed how pictures play a role in visualization and how the students capture pictures differently.

Pic 2 blogi.jpg
Picture 2. The students and staff of Lapland UAS on a field trip.

Day 3

8th of November 2023

On the third day the students were free in the morning, this offered the opportunity to refine the student presentations in guidance of the teachers and coaches and to explore Estoril and nearby city Cascais.

In the afternoon the first “Seeing is believing” session commenced where students presented their visual assignments (this will be elaborated on further on in the next chapter of this post). After this session another practical class was provided to the group as they followed a class on reservation systems for airlines.

Day 4

9th of November 2023

This day commenced with the second session of “Seeing is believing” (which will be further elaborated on, in the next chapter). Following this was another practical class on communication in relation to tour guiding provided by one of the teachers in ESTHE.

This class was focused on the role of a tour guide within their group as well as their role in society. The class varied between theoretical and practical, touched upon intercultural communication, stereotypes and once again facilitated interaction between the participants of different countries. This class was yet again an interesting example of how education differs between the countries but also a learning opportunity on different aspects of communication.

Day 5

10th of November 2023

On the last official day of the trip the entire group went on a field trip to Lisbon, where hosts from ESTHE provided a tour of the town, explaining history of Lisbon and culture of Portugal. Particularly focused on the time of the explorers. Following this the group had farewell lunch at a restaurant of one of the Alumni of ESTHE.

This day again increased cultural knowledge in Portugal and facilitated interactions between the different participants. This day marked the end of our trip together, as the following day everyone flew back to their home countries.

Seeing is believing

Within the “Seeing is believing” session the aim was for students to produce a visual output for an assignment they had received from their home institution. The task was different in each institution and all the students had received guidance and learning materials from their own teachers and coaches throughout the process.

The purpose of this exercise was to see how Generation Z communicates visually, and how this could overlap with the needs of the industry or how this can be used for the industry. Further, the aim was to open the floor for a discussion on the actual contents of the assignments, the visual aspects but also general perceptions towards education by both students, teachers and coaches.

Session 1

In session 1 the students and teachers from Lapland UAS presented their assignments as well as the students from the University of Maribor. First the project manager of Lapland UAS presented the report on “Best practices for translating knowledge to working life” produced in work package 2. This report contains case examples and survey results rooted in HEI and working life cooperation practices.

The assignment for the students of Lapland UAS was to create a development idea based on one case example within the best practices report. The students presented their ideas visually in the shape of a flowchart, a website and a video. Other participants then responded to this, which turned into a discussion on the development ideas as well as how these were visually created by the students.

The next group to present were the students from the University of Maribor. Their assignment was to make a visual CV, a pdf form as well as a video. This assignment displayed the creativity and the editing skills of generation Z. The students then received feedback from the other participants if they would be hired on the basis of these CVs.

Session 2

In the second session the students of ESTHE started off with their presentation. The assignment was making visual output for the tour guiding course. The students worked together as group and produced a training video in Lisbon for new guides. Where, sped up, a walking route was displayed in Lisbon, to train guides for this specific route. Afterwards the students received feedback, and a discussion was facilitated on how this visual way of presenting was deemed to be effective.

Lastly the team of the University of Stavanger presented their assignment. They had to make a visual output of a business plan in adventure tourism. Both teams produced videos on their business plans. They received feedback on their business plan as well as how they visually presented it. Afterwards time was left for an open discussion between the students, teachers and coaches on tourism related topics. In particular the conversation geared towards ecological sustainability within tourism and education. Within this, differences between the institutes were observed.

Pic 3 blogi.jpg

Picture 3. Seeing is believing session with student presentations.

Final reflection and concluding remarks

Overall, the experience was highly valuable. Not only for the contributions it has done to the project, but also the interaction between people from different cultures, backgrounds and ages. The discussions facilitated between the participants provided insights in different approaches to several topics. For example, how different institutes handle and value sustainability within tourism and how the tourism industry has evolved in the countries.

In conclusion, it was overall a successful week, in which a lot was learned and cooperation between countries was enhanced. It further contributed towards the project when looking back at the main objective of the work package: “to encourage students to explore the visual as a way of distributing research results.”

This objective has been successfully met, by means of the seeing is believing sessions with supervision and feedback both from the international team of teachers and project staff as well as from other students. In addition, the photo assignment on the second day stimulated visual thinking and visualization of ideas.

Video. A short video capturing moments of the Learning, Teaching, Training activity in Estroril, Portugal.

Up next: Learning, teaching, training activity in Stavanger in September

The project team is currently preparing for the next stage of the project which is to bring students together again – this time in Stavanger, Norway. This learning, teaching, and training (LTT) activity takes place on September 13th –17th, with travel dates being September 12th and 18th. Our team is missing two eager students who are inspired by working and learning in an international team.

The title of the LTT is "I will be Idea Manager!" and the aim is to develop the role of an idea manager who operates between tourism education and the tourism industry and working life. During the intensive week in Norway, you will work as a member of the international student team. The programme includes e.g. workshops, presentations, group discussions and other activities.

By actively participating this LTT activity and finishing the assignments given it is possible to get 4 study credits (ECTS). The studies start on May 16, 2024, at 13.00 - 14.30 with a webinar in Zoom.

Applying to the LTT activity

Tourism students of Lapland UAS can apply to the activity by sending us a motivation letter.
In the letter you should shortly introduce yourself and elaborate on following questions:

• How would participating this study course support your study and career plans?
• How is your ability to work as a part of an international team in English?
• What motivates you to contribute to the development tasks of the project?
• Can you commit to the schedules of the study unit?

To be noted:

• Be concise, 300–500 words is enough for the motivation letter.
• Note that by applying to the study course, you confirm that you’ll have the travel documents needed for travelling to Norway (depending on your citizenship you may need to have a passport and visa).
• You need to have first year studies completed, send us you’re a copy of your study records.
• Project covers the travel and accommodation costs for the intensive week in Norway but the students need to be prepared to cover their own meal costs.

Send your motivation letter and your transcript of records by 7th of April to the coordinator of ReWo project Malla Alatalo (malla.alatalo(a)lapinamk.fi)

Title your message: Application to ReWo study course - Norway

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.

My global story


When I think of my journey in Canada, I think it with great warmth. It makes me thankful that the school can provide us students with such awesome opportunities.

Since not being able to go for an exchange during my studies in senior high school, I knew that in my future studies I will go. I did my exchange in spring 2023 in Saskatchewan Canada.
I did similar studies in Canada as in Rovaniemi as well, but they were a little bit different. My favorite course was sports marketing since it was something I couldn’t take part in Lapland UAS. The studying was similar, but we had midterms and finals that were more official compared to exams at home. I learned a lot of things in Canada at my classes and seeing the different ways to think and view things brought great knowledge to me.

The housing was made clear, and with the help of the international services I was able to apply for my dorm room. Some parts were paid prior to the exchange period and then the rest during the first weeks. It was somewhat expensive, but my accommodation included unlimited diner points.

Kuvassa Matilda kv vaihdossa

On my trip in Canada, I got to see NHL games and ice hockey in general. That was something I was the most excited as a hockey fan. All in all at the campus there were a lot of possibilities to take part in sports and the University had teams in all big sports. On top of ice hockey we went to see lake Louise and ski at the mountains in Alberta. That was something I will remember for the rest of my life. Not just the views but also the weather was freezing.

Matilda kv vaihdossa laskettelemassa  Matilda NHL-ottelua katsomassa

When I think of my journey in Canada, I think it with great warmth. It makes me thankful that the school can provide us students with such awesome opportunities. I got to make new friends from all around the world and study in another international environment. If there is something I want to do soon it is to return to Canada and continue the adventure. I hope everyone would go and try these exchange programs. They give some much to your studies, a global perspective and most likely something new.

-Matilda Heino, International business - 

Suhet Intensive Week Barcelona, Spain: Journey towards luxury


With the aim of creating and implementing education for Sustainable High-End Tourism throughout Europe, SUHET is an Erasmus+ project, aimed at providing participants with knowledge on sustainable luxury tourism.

In order to test the MOOC (massive open online courses), an intensive week was organised in Barcelona, Spain with the involvement of teachers, experts and students from the University of Maribor, Erasmus University Brussels of Applied Sciences & Arts, the European Center for Quality, the Foundation of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Lapland University of Applied Sciences.

Learning the theory: Classroom days

After boosting ourselves with a filling breakfast we walked to the campus, which was just a few steps from the hotel, and started a new working day.

Students studying in a classroom
Picture 1: In a classroom, teachers introducing the intensive week for students.
Photo credit: Petra Paloniemi

Monday, Wednesday and Friday were for testing the MOOC. We started the class by familiarising ourselves with the subject through video lectures, along with the support of the teachers. Many issues arose during the learning process, requiring us to have discussions and analyses in small groups.

After that, students had to take the quizzes related to what they have learned, as this was also the reason we were here - to provide our feedback on online courses.

Putting theory into practice: Barcelona City

The classroom days were interrupted by two excursion days, giving us a welcoming break from the theory and the unique opportunity to peak behind the curtain of luxury hotels in Barcelona.

Picture of the hotel Almanac
Picture 2: Hotel Almanac name over the front entrance with a view of the street in the background.
Photo credit: Liisa Siippainen

Tuesday was our first excursion day. After taking the train from the campus in Bellaterra we made our way into Barcelona to Hotel Almanac. A luxury boutique hotel, the Almanac provides its guests with a unique experience defined by the local environment. We got to sit down with Victoria Simpson, the Sales and Marketing Director, who told us about the hotel’s use of technology to ensure the high level of sustainability.

Picture of the hotel suite in hotel Almanac
Picture 3: Hotel Almanac, a suite with couch and two arm chairs and a view of a balcony.
Photographer credit: Liisa Siippainen

Next we visited the UAB Campus in Barcelona which is located in a section of Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, a UNESCO heritage site. Here we met with Glòria Pou, co-CEO at the DMC The Real Thing, who gave us a presentation of her business. We learned about the ups and downs of being a business owner in the luxury tourism industry - especially throughout the pandemic - and the value of effective networking and building of partnerships. For many, this visit was the highlight of the week.

UAB Campus picture
Picture 4: UAB campus, a red brick building in an art nouveau style.
Photo credit: Liisa Siippainen

Finally, after a break for lunch, we visited the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Barcelona. We were greeted with a presentation by Eva Villar (Personal Assistant to General Manager) and Viviana Iglesias (Director of Commerce). Paul Ciaccio, the Sales Manager at the hotel, showed us around and emphasised the importance of privacy and personalisation in luxury tourism.

Four pictures in a collage of the hotel
Picture 5: top – a group of students standing in the hotel lobby listening to a presentation by the Sales Manager Paul Ciaccio, bottom left – a hotel suite view of window and desk, bottom middle – a hotel suite view of bed and side table, bottom right – a picture of a hotel bar wall covered in old safety lock boxes.

After a long day walking around the city students were free to stay and explore. Our group from Lapland joined the local students from Barcelona for a drink before hopping back on the train to Bellaterra.

Catalonian countryside: Exploration of unconventional luxury

On our second excursion day everyone was excited just a little bit extra. Why? Well, on that day we were going to the Catalonian countryside to explore an old village, a luxury winery, and most importantly to many, an authentic Catalan lunch in one of the best restaurants of Sant Sadurní d'Anoia.

Picture of Colonia Güell
Picture 6: Colonia Güell, a Mediterranean stone building with an archway and a corner tower.
Photo credit: Kristian Tyurn

Colonia Güell is a factory town founded by a Spanish industrialist Eusebi Güell and designed by his closest friend, Antoni Gaudí, built at the turn of the 19th century. The town’s sole purpose was to house workers of Güell’s textile factory. The community formed around the factory was fairly well-off compared to the ones in other factory settlements – they had access to education, healthcare and housing, all provided by Eusebi Güell, in return for a fair share of their salaries. Now the town is a destination for all cultural heritage and history enthusiasts visiting Barcelona with its main attraction being a unique church and crypt built by Antoni Gaudí.

Picture of Colonia Güell Church window
Picture 7: Colonia Güell, church stained windows in a flower shape.
Photo credit: Liisa Siippanen

Our next stop was the Gramona winery where we were received by Miquel Herrero, the Head of Hospitality and Wine Tourism. Barcelona is famous for its Cava sparkling wines, a term used by Gramona in the past before collaborating with other prominent wine makers to create the new term and quality label: Corpinnat. Other than creating exquisite sparkling wines, Gramona offers exclusive tours around the vineyard and their wine cellar, telling the full story of how their wine travels from the vine to the restaurant table, providing highest quality Corpinnat wines while staying in touch with nature and adhering to traditional and sustainable ways is Gramona’s true passion.

picture of the wine fields
Picture of the wine cellar
Wine fields
Pictures 8 - 10: top – Gramona wine fields, middle – wine cellar, bottom– wine field scenery.
Photo credit: Kristian Tyurn

Our final stop of the day was the La Cava d'en Sergi restaurant in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia. For many, this was the true highlight of the entire visit to Barcelona. Exquisite local food of the highest quality paired with local wines created a long-lasting impression for the group. This shows how important food is to experience the culture of the destination.

With our bellies full and having enjoyed the visits to the wonderful locations of the day, we went to the bus that took us back to Bellaterra.

Picture of Lapland UAS teachers
Picture 11: Lapland UAS teachers and students standing outside the entrance to Hotel Almanac in Barcelona. Left to right: Liisa Siippainen, Teija Tekoniemi-Selkälä, Le Quyen (July), Kristian Tyurn and Petra Petra Paloniemi
Picture credit: Mitja Gorenak

Some final thoughts

As much as there is to learn about theoretical concepts and their practical applications when participating in a project like this, there is even more you can learn about yourself. In a new environment, outside your comfort zone, there are many situations you would not encounter in your daily life. You might try strange foods, share a room with someone you barely know or find it more difficult to adapt to a new culture than you imagined. However, you will return home with great memories, new found friends and more confidence in your own abilities.

Written by Liisa Siippainen, Kristian Tyurn and Le Qyuen (July), the students in the Degree Programme in Tourism

SUHET project is been granted by Erasmus program and will be a 2-year cooperation between LAPIN AMMATTIKORKEAKOULU OY (Coordinator, Finland), EUROPEAN CENTER FOR QUALITY OOD (Bulgaria), ERASMUSHOGESCHOOL BRUSSEL (Belgium), UNIVERZA V MARIBORU (Slovenia) and FUNDACIO UNIVERSITAТ AUTONOMA DE BARCELONA (Spain).


How should you enrich your student life?


During three or four years of studies, it is a valuable time to explore new experiences and improve yourself.

Here are a few tips about what you can do to succeed and enrich your student life.


Finnish language and scholarship


If you are an international student from non–EU and non-EEA countries, you will need to pay tuition fees. However, in the year 2023 Lapland UAS offers scholarships for students based on their study progress and Finnish proficiency. If you pass the required level of the Finnish YKI test (Finnish proficiency exam), half the tuition fee is deducted. The school offers Finnish courses for students to learn and prepare for the exam. You need to plan whether to take the Finnish YKI test because it takes time to learn and practise. It is also useful for job applications and working in Finland in the future. You may have a higher chance of getting a job if you communicate in Finnish.

Going abroad for exchange or practical training


Practical training is a crucial process in the studies to get work experience and familiarise yourself with the workplace. You can choose to do practical training in Finland or other countries. Apart from that, you can also choose to go for an exchange. A few types of going abroad options suit your needs, such as an exchange for one semester, doing a double degree for a year, and a short-term exchange and project for one to two weeks. However, some of them have different application deadlines and processes. Therefore, it is better for you to do research and discuss with their study counsellors. You can get more information on our school’s “Going International” website or join the International Day for exchange stories, application briefings and Q&A sessions. It is a great experience to meet new people, study and work in countries which have diverse cultures.

Student on a exchange abroad

Work experience and opportunities


While study progress is a critical part of your student life, work experience is also a way to enrich it. It is possible to get a job in Lapland, especially during the winter tourism season since they need a lot of staff and employees. Moreover, the school provides positions for students, for example, social media ambassador, international student ambassador and student tutor. For instance, being an international student ambassador is to organise events for and help exchange students, host international guests of Lapland UAS, and do social media marketing. You may get experience in social media marketing, event management, teamwork etc, which can improve your skills and apply to your future workplace. Besides, you can get credits from the positions which are beneficial for your studies.

Hence, plan for your studies and do not miss any opportunities of expanding horizons. Wish you all a fruitful student life!

- Lucia, international student ambassador - 

Weber State University students and staff visit to Lapland UAS


Opiskelijablogiteksti Weber State University.jpg
Weber State University students from Utah visited Lapland UAS as a part of their communication studies.

On Monday 15th of May we had the pleasure to welcome 22 students and two professors from Weber State University to visit Lapland UAS Rovaniemi Campus. The Weber State University locates in city of Ogden, Utah, United States of America. Our day consisted mostly of different presentation from our staff and students. After each presentation, there was an opportunity to ask questions related to the topic. One of the main objectives of the visit was for the students to learn about Finnish education system and student life in Finland.

Our day started with presentation from Mari Putaansuu the Head of International Affairs. Her presentation was about Lapland UAS and Finnish Education system. After the presentation and questions our international service staff gave a little presentation of our campuses Rovaniemi, Kemi and Tornio. When presentations were done, it was time for campus tour.

After the campus tour, we had a school lunch with our visitors. After lunch break, we had the pleasure to have a presentation about ’’Climate Crisis - Why Sustainable Investments for mitigation and adaptation need to be done now!’’. The present was given by Adrian Braun who is a Researcher in the University of Lapland.

Seven students from Lapland UAS were also prepared presentations from different subjects. The topics were:
• Laura – Students union activities and student life around ROTKO
• Sirpa – Student life in Finland
• Ismo - His own study field, ISA activities, Finnish nature
• Klara, Anna, Eneja – Their experience in studying at Lapland UAS as an exchange student and how did they find living and studying here.

After every presentation there was time for questions and talk around the topic. Our day together ended with a coffee and tee with some apple pie in the restaurant. During the coffee break we had good and active conversations about Finnish culture and climate acts.

One other main goal set for the visit was for the students to get to know more about the climate acts against climate crisis in Finland. Most of the students studied communication in their home university and the visit was part of their study course. Students had cameras and voice recorders with them and they captured the presentations for a video project they are going to make about the visit. They also made couple small video interviews from Lapland UAS students about their climate acts and thoughts about it.

Sirpa Paakkola, Lapland UAS student and trainee at the international services

From Santa's home Rovaniemi to the top of Saana in Kilpisjärvi: Lapland Adventures


As an international student ambassador for Lapland University of Applied Sciences, I had the pleasure of organizing a trip for exchange students to the beautiful destinations of Levi and Kilpisjärvi.

Our adventure began on a Friday morning, where we departed from the Rovaniemi campus and headed towards Levi. Our first stop in Levi was the Samiland museum, which showcased fascinating artifacts related to the Sámi culture.

Picture of Samiland exhibition building

The owner of the museum, a Sámi himself, even arranged a traditional Sámi singing performance, Sámi Joiku, for us. We were also able to feed his reindeer and explore the exhibition of old Sami buildings in the museum’s reindeer area.

After our visit to the museum, we settled into a cozy cabin I had rented in Levi for the weekend. We took some time to relax and prepare a meal together before embarking on a hike up to the Levi fell. It was quite the adventure as we had trouble finding the route, but with my guidance, we were able to find Santa’s childhood home, which was featured in the Finnish movie “Christmas Story – Joulutarina."

Picture of Santa Claus cabin in Levi

After a day filled with stunning natural scenery and outdoor activities, we returned to our cabin for some much-needed rest and relaxation. To following day, we woke up early and drove to Kilpisjärvi, which was a long but scenic journey. The further north we traveled, the higher the fells rose, and their snowy peaks sparkled in the sunlight.

Once we arrived at Kilpisjärvi, we discovered that an ice fishing competition was taking place. It was fascinating to see so many people gathered for the event, with camper vans parked for at least a kilometer along the village road.

We then headed towards Saana fell in the Malla nature park, where we hiked through a birch forest towards the Lapland hut and made lunch there. The views throughout our hike towards the top of Saana were absolutely breathtaking, and we were lucky enough to have sunny and warm weather.

Picture on top of the Kiilopää fell

At the top of Saana, we sat on a rock and indulged in some chocolate to energize ourselves before descending the peak. The journey back down was faster than climbing up, but unfortunately, I had an accident and sprained my ankle twice. Despite the setback, we persevered and made it down the slope.

We then enjoyed a delicious meal at the Kilpisjärvi camping lodge before returning to Levi for a peaceful evening in the sauna. Our final day in Levi was spent exploring the town center before we departed for Rovaniemi.

The trip was filled with new experiences and breathtaking sights that will remain in our memories for years to come.

- Ismo. International Student Ambassador -

Developing Sustainable Nature-Based Luxury Tourism Products During the International Intensive Week in Rovaniemi


Tourism students participated in an international project at the beginning of April. The project’s aim was to develop sustainable nature-based luxury services for tourism companies which are operating in Rovaniemi. This year our commissioners were Arctic Treehouse Hotel, Beyond Arctic and Wild About Lapland. In addition to Lapland University of Applied Sciences, students from Breda and Kempten University of Applied Sciences participated in the project as well.

Programme of the international intensive week

The intensive week started on Tuesday with a Get-together evening which was arranged in Kansan Pubi. The students got the opportunity to get to know their group members before they started to work on the project.

Picture of student playing
Picture 1. Get-together. Picture by Petra Paloniemi

On Wednesday we walked together with the students to the Campus where they officially started working on the project. The teachers gave short lectures related to product development before they gave instructions for the students what they needed to do next. The student assistants prepared coffee and snacks to make sure that the students had enough energy during the day. Later on, we went to Jyrhämän laavu to grill some sausages and enjoy fresh air with some hot juice.

Three pictures of  the student event
Picture 2. Kick off and barbecue at Jyrhämänlaavu Picture 2 Petra Paloniemi, 3 and 4 Magdalena Haag.


FAM-trip day: Getting to know our commissioners!

On Thursday we started our day in Arktikum where we were given a lecture by Ilona Mettiäinen and had lunch there as well. After that, we visited the commissioners and Arctic Reindeer Farm where the students learned about reindeer husbandry in Finnish Lapland. We also had a chance to feed reindeer which was a nice experience. Wild About Lapland took the students to nature where they tried ice fishing and sliding snowshoeing. After the snow activities the students grilled sausages and enjoyed hot chocolate by fire. I think the FAM-trip day was everyone’s favourite day during the intensive week.

Students at the event
Picture 3. Moments from FAM-trip Picture 5 Magdalena Haag, 6 Teija Tekoniemi-Selkälä and 7 Julia Vuollet.

On Friday the students returned to the Campus and started to build prototypes for their designs. In the evening we gathered in Uitto Pub where we hung out and played card games together.

On Saturday afternoon the students went to the city centre and Santa Claus Village to test their prototypes. They collected a lot of feedback from tourists and locals for their designs.

Students testing prototypes
Picture 4. Testing prototypes Pictures Petra Paloniemi.


On Sunday the students had a day off. Many of them wanted to explore Lapland during their visit and rented a car for that. We went bowling and hiked on top of Ounasvaara to see the sunset later on that day.

Farewell dinner and special guest

The final day arrived on Monday. The groups presented their ideas for the commissioners and teachers. After the presentations and feedback, we celebrated the end of intensive week. In the evening we went to final dinner at Restaurant Rakas where we enjoyed a delicious three-course meal. The students received their diplomas and took a picture with our special guest, Santa Claus.

Students at the event
Picture 5. Presentation day and final dinner Picture 10, 11 Magdalena Haag, 12 Petra Paloniemi.


The intensive week was intensive for all but also rewarding. The students performed excellently in teams under great pressure and supported each other. I think it is amazing that our school co-operates with different institutions around the world and supports local entrepreneurs. This experience was certainly memorable for everyone.

Written by student assistant and 3rd-year tourism student Julia Vuollet

Collaborative Experience Design with Arctic Design Week


Students from Lapland UAS, University of Maribor and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona participated in Arctic Design Week in March. What were the challenges and what did the students learn from the event?

Collaborative Experience Design is a study unit in which tourism students design events in collaboration with Arctic Design Week. The objective of the study unit is to get a holistic view on experience design and collaborative event management.

This year the study unit was integrated into ERASMUS+ Blended Intensive Program which meant that the study unit was organized in cooperation with international universities in Maribor and Barcelona. In total 41 students took part in the collaboration and 4 student groups were designing, implementing and evaluating events for the design week.

The Arctic Design Week is a multi-faceted arctic event in Rovaniemi that, among other things, promotes design know-how and business in the North, as well as provides an arena of influential people for the entire Arctic. This year the event took place 20.-26.3. The city celebrated the 15th edition of the world’s most northern design event under the theme “Better Future - Arctic Smartness”.


Student Groups working remotely

It was nice to be able to collaborate with such a great event and still be able to implement our own ideas as students. As students and tourism managers to be, students from Lapland UAS, University of Maribor and Universitat Autonoma Barcelona, were invited to participate at this year’s event. The study unit kicked off in January and team members got to know each other remotely. Theory lessons were organized in Zoom.

Students started planning and discussing the event right at the beginning of the study unit. Since students live in different time zones, it was a bit of a challenge to get used to that. Another issue that could be counted as a challenge was technical difficulties, which could occur at any given time. As for the benefits of starting a project with remote teamwork, it is a great way to ensure that we are thoroughly prepared for our event. The first two months were filled with a lot of discussions and planning. (story continues after the picture)

Group of students participating in Arctic Design Week
Picture 1: Design Your Dreams: Ariadna, Magdalena, Katariina, Alicia, Ester, Neža, Riikka, Diana, Klara and Logan.

In conclusion, remote teamwork is an important skill to have in today’s working life. It helps us to work in a more relaxed atmosphere, and we can get the job done efficiently. Luckily there are a lot of different programs and applications which are available when working together with international students from different countries. Programs such as Miro, WhatsApp, Teams, Padlet, Open Moodle and Canva were used during the projects. (Story continues after the picture) 

Students participating in Arctic Design Week
Picture 2: Arctic Immersion: Marble, Jason, Alisa, Anna, Olivia, Juulia, Carla, Alicia, Almaida and Luka.


Experience Design Process

Preparations for events required brainstorming and ideation of the concept. Ideation involved us to think about the theme, the activities, timetable, roles, partners and of course the user personas. Planning the event took the most time but during the event a concrete and detailed plan helped a lot. The budget needed to be done and approved weeks before the event. When looking back, this should have been done even earlier so the discussions with the partner could have been done before.

Student groups planned marketing in which they aimed the message to their target groups and visualized all the material. Groups designed logos, posters, Instagram -account and also cooperated with the partners. Mostly the focus was on digital marketing such as Instagram or Facebook.

At the end of the project time was used in getting the supplies needed, preparing the venue and after the event of course, cleaning. After the event it was important to evaluate how did the event went and report on the metrics and indicators of the event. What went well and what are the things that could be developed? (Story continues after the pictures) 

Students participating in Arctic Design week
Picture 3: Students and teachers in Arctic Snowhotel & Glass Igloos.

Students participating in Arctic Design Week
Picture 4: Better Future with Sustainable Fashion: Abdo, Tajda, Liisa, Sandra, Julia, Simon, Lilly, Aino, Eneja and Kaja.


Learn by doing

Students learned the following aspects during the process:

Creativity and imagination: To organize a successful event, creative and imaginative skills are needed to plan and design activities that are attractive and engaging for the target group.

Patience and a sense of humor: A dose of patience and a sense of humor is needed to keep calm and maintain a positive attitude when unforeseen or challenging situations arise during the event.

Cultural sensitivity: It is important to have cultural understanding and sensitivity to ensure that the event respects and celebrates the cultural diversity of the people participating in the event.

Teamwork: Teamwork skills are essential to collaborate with other members of the event and to manage resources effectively. Being organizers from different countries, students were able to encourage collaboration and the exchange of different ideas, so we learnt about ideas from different cultures.

Social learning: The event was an opportunity to socialize and meet new people. Participating in these activities helped us to develop social skills such as communication, empathy and collaboration.

Problem solving: Organizing the event involved effective problem solving. As challenges arose, students learned to adapt and find creative solutions to ensure the event ran smoothly.

Evaluation and improvement: Once the events were over, students were able to evaluate its success and could see the lessons learned for future events. The organization of the event provided us with valuable lessons on what worked well and what can be improved in the future.

As a result, 4 events were organized in collaboration with Arctic Design Week and other partners in Rovaniemi 20.-26.3.2023. Students from Lapland UAS, University of Maribor and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona had a huge impact on the design week program through these versatile event concepts. Next year a similar collaboration will take place and students will design and produce a set of innovative and engaging events!

- Students of the ADW-project & their teacher Jenny Janhunen - 

Exchange students experiencing the magic of Lapland


Exchange students from Kemi and Rovaniemi gathered in Rovaniemi for a special trip to the Santa Claus Village and Reindeer Farm Raitola.

The day started with a bus ride from Kemi to Rovaniemi, followed by a lunch at the university restaurant.

After lunch, the students headed first to the reindeer farm, where they got to see real-life reindeer and even go on a reindeer sledge ride through the snowy landscape. It was a 500-meter ride, and it was such an incredible experience.

Picture of a reindeer ride

Did you know that in Lapland, there are more reindeer’s than humans?

It is true and each reindeer has its own owner.

Reindeers are not only cute but also play a crucial role in the local culture and economy. We also learned that reindeers are gentle creatures but might not like to be touched, especially in their antlers, as it is a sensitive area for them.

Reindeer ride in the reindeer farm

Each of us got our own Reindeer driving license from reindeer sleigh drive, we are now professionals in reindeer sledding!

After the reindeer sledge ride, we had the opportunity to have a husky sledge ride. The husky sledge ride was much faster than the reindeer sledge ride, and it was a thrilling experience. We also had a chance to pet the huskies and learn about their personalities and unique traits.

Husky safaris picture

Did you know that huskies were first used widely in Alaska during the Gold Rush on Klondike? They were used to transport gear to the wilderness where there were no roads, and maintaining horses would take too much effort.

Husky dogs in picture

After the fun–filled visit at the reindeer farm and husky park, we headed to Santa Claus Village, where we had over an hour to explore and enjoy the winter wonderland.

It was an opportunity to feel the magic of Christmas and visit Santa Claus himself to take pictures with him. We also visited some souvenir shops and stopped for a coffee.

Picture of Santa Village in Rovaniemi

Did you know that the birth of the Santa Claus Village dates to the 1950s?

Incredible as it may seem, the Santa Claus Village that we know today has its roots dating back to the 1950s. The history is, that the first lady of the United States, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, paid a visit to Rovaniemi in 1950, with the aim of studying the post-war reconstruction of Lapland and Rovaniemi. During her visit, a beautiful lodge was built for guests on a piece of land located north of the Arctic Circle. This lodge went on to become what we now know as Santa’s Village, a beloved attraction for tourists from all over the world. It is fascinating to think that this iconic destination started from such humble beginnings, and it is a testament to the enduring magic of Lapland that it has since become such an important and enchanting place for so many.

Overall, the exchange students had a wonderful time experiencing the magic of Lapland and learning more about the local culture and wildlife. Making trips like this is part of the freely chosen studies for international student ambassadors, and we feel grateful for the opportunity to share these experiences with others.

- Ismo. International Student Ambassador -

Previous 1 2 3 4 5Next